The Waters are Murky

Putting aside the fact that the Columbia University Spectator has become a quasi-high-school paper, with Sex columnists and a lack of journalistic standards which permit editors to write in the paper and presidents of clubs write about their own subject matter in their columns, what is really worrying is the way it turned on its head when it comes to Middle East Studies.
After firing Seth Anziska, Alex Rolfe and myself–the only writers who were willing to challenge the establishment, the Spec ran a number of articles to get on their good side, including Zack Frank’s and the News desk’s attacks on Title VI reform. The did not even think to fact-check Dean Anderson or Prof. Khalidi, although both clearly have a personal stake in the matter, after which they might have come up with interesting conclusions.
Along with this wave of sympathetic articles which do not even try to get to the bottom of what is going on at Columbia–as in why the University broke State and Federal Law withholding the name of a Saudi donor when passions were rising about the anonymously donated Said Chair–are other biased articles as well. Key example: today’s article on the Academic Bill of Rights.
While I could go into the article’s details, I’d rather point out the very obvious flag: David Horowitz is immediately called a “conservative pundit.” Sound like nothing? Check out this article then, where the speaker is never attached an ideological title.
The very fact that the paper felt it needed to preface the title “pundit” with “conservative” shows a lack of respect for diverse opinions, and provides a marker for others before reading the piece to make up their decisions based on ideologically narrow grounds.
Too bad that these are the minds of tomorrow; they are closed for business.


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